The Buccaneers wrapped up their preseason with a 24-17 victory over the Houston Texans on Thursday night at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Even though most of the starters enjoyed the action from the sidelines, there were still plenty to be decided on the field, as second and third-teamers battled not just the Texans on the field, but each other for the last few coveted roster spots on the 53-man, which will be determined on Saturday. With their football fates hanging in the balance, some guys shined, while others waned.......and some guys did little to make their way off the bubble. Some observations:
-Corey Lynch had a monster game. Welcome to the roster, big guy. You don't wrap up a pretty nice preseason by picking off 2 passes, scoring a TD, avoid getting embarassed and NOT make the squad.
-Rudy Carpenter was steady and solid throughout, going 15/22 for 223 yds and 2 TDs/0 INTs. He was sharp and on the money with his passes for most of the night. He's clearly the #3 QB on this roster...and a guy I might not be terrified to see in a game if something drastic were to happen. He's not giving me any Curtis-Painter-coming-in-after-Manning type of indication.
-Kareem Huggins put the candles on his tasty preseason cake with a 6.2 yards per clip average on 6 carries, including a nifty 25-yard scamper with the Bucs backed up deep in their own end.
-Brent Bowden is starting to worry me. 38-yard average with a long of 41. He hit a blech 34-yard punt late in the 4th qtr, which gave the Texans one last chance to tie or win the game. His overall distance is starting to concern me a little bit.
-The pressure from the defensive front continued to be sporadic and inconsistent, as the Buccaneers managed only one sack in the game from DE George Johnson. However, that sack came in a series where the Buccaneers pressured the Texan QB for the entire series. The lack of consistent pressure doesn't bode well, but the starters haven't played all that much this preseason, so rest your hat on that peg, I guess.
-Arrelious Benn showed what he's capable of, snaring 2 TD passes in the tightest of coverage last night. The 2nd was on an underthrown fade pattern, but he leaped over and grabbed the ball off of the CB for the score. An impactful night to be sure.
-Reggie Brown started off by dropping a ball in the first quarter, but finished making some nice catches along the sidelines from Carpenter to finish with 3 catches for 45 yards. That could have been the coup-de-grace for Clayton.
-Myron Lewis disappointed me a little bit. Following a pass break up near the end zone, he was flatfooted and burned badly on a lobbed ball for a TD the very next play in the 3rd quarter. He hasn't shown a whole lot this preseason, albeit he's had a nagging hammy injury this preseason.
-Elbert Mack had a couple of nice plays, including a pass break up in the 2nd half. The competition at the cornerback positions is fierce, with Roberson also making a nice play near the goalline in the 2nd half.
-The 2nd string offensive line did what it's been doing, create a decent hole for a solid run, then get overpowered for a couple of plays to set up passing situations. Not really a huge standout here.
-Clifton Smith had a few nice plays, highlighted by an angle route out of the backfield for 13 yards. He showed nice burst and speed, the kind you want to see from a 3rd down back.
So what were your impressions of the game? Weigh in below.